Petpositive

Some people prefer high-spirited animals, whereas others prefer animals that are quieter. However, what’s more important is the type of animal that suits your lifestyle best.

If you are unsure but would like a trained companion by your side who can help you with daily activities, Petpositive can help.

Working with all types of pets – dogs, cats, birds or even fish – the Petpositive team is actively run by the disabled and elderly together with people from different professional backgrounds including medical professionals and veterinarians. The organisation that is established in 2006 aims to improve the lives of the disabled and elderly by providing trained animals.

“I strongly believe that with a pet companion, the disabled and the elderly will live a higher quality of life through their relationships with animals.  The animals can work magic on them,” says Anthony Thanasayan, President of Petpositive.

How does it work? Anthony explains that animals have the ability to accept people as they are, regardless of whether they are able or disabled. Non-discriminating and without prejudice, animals loyally look up to you as long as you treat them well.

Besides training animals, Petpositive also visits the homes and centres of the disabled and elderly to introduce pet-assisted therapy to them. The impact is great especially for people living alone or who spend many hours alone while their children are at work.

Imagine dropping your comb but not being able to pick it up, or staying in bed all day staring at the ceiling or the four empty walls. At times like this, having a companion by your side can be godsend. Petpositive strives to empower the lives of these people with trained animals by cheering them up and giving those who have given up a reason to live.

The association not only looks at the companionship perspective but also from the medical approach. “By communicating with an animal, you will see results and improvement within yourself,” says Anthony.

He cites an example of a patient who suffers from Parkinson disease. As Parkinson disease affects the speech of the patient, having a trained dog that will only come when its name is called forces the patient to practice his or her speech.

Training is usually conducted under the guidance of experienced medical professionals and volunteers. For Anthony, his two-year-old Doberman named Zhar helps him pick up objects on the floor and grasp objects that are beyond reach. His Shetland Sheepdog, on the other hand, helps him detect wounds on his body that he cannot see.

Apart from dogs, Anthony recommends fish, lizards or spiders for people who are bedridden. For people who are paralysed, a cat would be ideal as a cat is more independent.

Before getting assigned to an animal, the potential owner will first need to answer some simple questions set by Petpositive. The questionnaire helps determine if the future owner is eligible and capable of taking care of the animal and the type of animal that suits the patient best.

NEED A PET?

If you are disabled or an elderly and would like to have a pet, you can email Anthony at petpositive@yahoo.com or contact him at 012-2203146. Petpositive is also open to donations from the public. All donations are tax-exempted. The organization also seeks volunteers to join this group of highly enthusiastic animal lovers. For details, visit www.petpositive.org or petpositive.blogspot.com.

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